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"Wanda" Roe, RU-486 Death
Mysterious death after RU-486 abortion
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I don't know much about the woman I call "Wanda".

I'd just been checking Ashli's blog, as I do several times a week. Ashli linked to Brian at 40 Days for Life.

Brian said that five women, dead from RU-486 abortions in the US, got their fatal doses at Planned Parenthood. (at 11:27 on the audio). I questioned him about this, posting:

The women who died, two (Holly Patterson and Chanelle Bryant) got their abortion drugs at PP, two (Oriene Shevin and Vivian Tran) at National Abortion Federation members, and one (Brenda Vise) at an unlicensed facility in Tennessee. Holly, Chanelle, Vivian, and Oriene died of sepsis. Brenda died of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that the "clinic" failed to diagnose.

I got an email from Brian thanking me, and pointing me to his source: a March 18, 2006 article in the New York Times, titled "After 2 More Deaths, Planned Parenthood Alters Method for Abortion Pill"..

I think Brian got a bit caught up in the moment and mis-spoke about five dead women that he knew of getting their abortion drugs at Planned Parenthood, but the source did point me to something troubling. The tally noted in the article -- six dead in the United States -- is one more death than I'd known about. And there's this:

The F.D.A. has now received reports that six women in the United States died after taking RU-486, or Mifeprex. .... The two most recent deaths and two of the previous four underwent their procedures at Planned Parenthood clinics, a spokeswoman said. (Emphesis mine)

Again, I only knew of two women -- Holly and Chanelle -- who got their drugs at Planned Parenthood. Did the FDA know of two more? Or was the spokeswoman confused and attributing the National Abortion Federation deaths to Planned Parenthood? And what of the sixth woman that I didn't know about?

I went poking around the FDA web site and found this page, the testimony of Dr. Janet Woodcock, Deputy Commissioner for Operations at the FDA. In particular I focused the section on deaths, where I found this:

FDA is aware of 12 deaths possibly involving the use of mifepristone in women. Nine of these deaths were in the U.S. ....

One U.S. woman from the west, whose death was confirmed to involve a different bacterium, Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens). This case involved the use of mifepristone 200 mg orally, followed by 800 mcg of misoprostol inserted intravaginally, a regimen that is not part of the approved labeling.

So there you have it: all the information I have about Wanda. She was in the western United States, took 200 mg of mifepriston orally, then followed up with 800 mcg of misoprostol vaginally, to induce an abortion. She died from Clorstridium perfringens infection.

It is also almost certain that this woman got her fatal drugs at a Planned Parenthood. I say this for two reasons:

  1. The drug regimen (200 mg orally, followed by 800 mcg of misoprostal vaginally) is identical to the drug regimen that cost Holly Patterson and Chanelle Bryant their lives.
  2. The New York Times reported that an FDA spokeswoman said that four RU-486 deaths followed abortions at Planned Parenthood. I already know who two of those women are. Of the remaining seven US possible deaths from RU-486 noted by the FDA, one did not appear to be abortion related and one did not appear to be caused by the drug used in the fatal abortion. That means that there are five deaths that are not Holly or Chanelle. Three of them are Brenda, Oriene, and Vivian. That means that the remaining two deaths that are related both to RU-486 and to abortion were at Planned Parenthood facilities.

Keep an eye on the RealChoice blog for updates as I try to narrow down when this woman died, and where.

For an extensive set of links on RU-486, go to: The RU-486 Files.